30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Matt 12:30-32 (NIV)

Have you ever noticed how Jesus does not leave us any room to be in the middle of the road regarding our walk with Him? We are either for Him or against Him. He calls for a clear decision. He calls for action. The stakes are high – we are either in or out. There is a holy war going on between Christ and the adversary – Satan – a war which does not permit our neutrality. A war in which the Victor has already been proclaimed – how silly it is for us to choose to side with the adversary. In minor differences among Christians we are to seek peace by counting those not against us to be for us – rejoicing that the power of God is being made manifest by others as well. It has never been about us and our petty differences rather it is all about the Lord Jesus and His mission. We discover His Words to His disciples in Luke:

49 "Master," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us." 50 "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you." Luke 9:49-50 (NIV)

However, in the great quarrel between Jesus and Satan no peace is to be sought. Satan is our adversary. When we remain detached to Jesus’ cause we are as His enemies – we are to ever remain on Christ’s side, serving Him only. He tells us in Matthew:

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Matt 6:24 (NIV)

“If religion is worth anything, it is worth everything. They who do not like Christ on these terms, may leave him at their peril. Whatever we part with for this pearl of price, we may comfort ourselves with this belief, that it is well worth what we give for it. The terms are, that we prefer Christ.” Matthew Henry

Prior to our Lord’s statement today, He had healed a blind and mute demoniac. The Pharisees stated that it was only by the devil’s power that Jesus had made this man clean. In fact, in Mark’s account of this incident, it is recorded that they state our Lord was possessed by Beelzebub – blaspheming both Jesus and the Holy Spirit – big mistake:

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons." Mark 3:22 (NIV)

Jesus will graciously forgive a repentant one if a word is spoken against Him yet our Lord states that guilt will always remain on the person who does not recognize the Holy Spirit as being the power behind the miraculous works of Christ. Mercy will be extended to all sins – even to blasphemy – a sin directly affecting the honor of God, even shown for words spoken against Christ – all sins that is excepting the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which Jesus stated here as the only unpardonable sin. This sin inevitably leaves the sinner in unfaithfulness and impenitence. Those fearing they have committed such a sin show a good sign that they have not. The Holy Spirit was the source of power which our Lord possessed. By denying this power these Pharisees were guilty of a sin in which there was no forgiveness. The heart was at the root of their words. They possessed such a stronghold of unbelief that could never be beaten out – unpardonable because it hides the need for repentance from the sinner’s eyes. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and there is no one righteous – not even one – every soul is in need of the mercy of God.

28 “I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” Mark 3:28-29 (NIV)

10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12:10 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • Jesus does not leave us any room to be in the middle of the road regarding our walk with Him. 37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt 10:37-39 (NIV)
  • There is a great spiritual war raging between Jesus and Satan. As a follower of Christ I am to gather with Him not scatter against Him.
  • Mercy is extended to all sins excepting the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.